VAR Lite: Indian football has been facing issues with refereeing decisions, leading to frustration for players, coaches, and fans. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has been considering the implementation of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology to ensure that football matches in the country are free of human error. However, the high cost of implementing VAR has been a major hurdle.
Recently, Kalyan Chaubey, president of the AIFF, visited the Royal Belgian FA headquarters, where he was impressed with how the technology was being used at a much lower cost. This could pave the way for the implementation of a new VAR Lite system, allowing the game-changing technology to be introduced in India for the first time next season.
Here’s all you need to know about VAR Lite and how it can be introduced in Indian Super League (ISL)
What is VAR Lite?
VAR Lite is a cost-effective VAR system solution that FIFA investigated and presented to The IFAB and its members in March 2021. Unlike full VAR systems that process a large number of camera feeds, VAR Lite systems are designed for matches with fewer than eight cameras.
There are two distinct paths identified for VAR Lite :
- System of 4-8 cameras – Competitions with four to eight cameras can use these systems during live trials to investigate the possibility of reducing staff and technology requirements.
- 1-3 camera setup – Competitions with fewer camera plans can test this system offline without affecting the game. This will serve as a platform for the exploration of new ideas and potential solutions. Using fewer cameras will also give an idea of the usability and efficacy of VAR solutions that use fewer camera angles.
Benefits of VAR Lite in Indian Football Matches
The introduction of VAR Lite in Indian football matches can bring several benefits, including:
- Reduction in human errors – Referees are only human, and they can make errors. VAR Lite can minimize errors from referees and ensure fair play in the game.
- Financially viable – The cost of implementing this technology is much lower than a full VAR system. This makes it financially viable for the AIFF and Indian Super League (ISL).
- Improving the standard of refereeing – The introduction of this technology can help improve the standard of refereeing in ISL matches. Referees will have support in making crucial decisions, leading to better performances.
- Improved fan experience – With the implementation of VAR Lite, fans will experience fewer controversies in matches, leading to better engagement with the sport.
The implementation of this technology in Indian football matches can be a game-changer for the sport. With its cost-effectiveness, this can provide much-needed support to referees and improve the standard of refereeing in ISL matches. The AIFF and ISL need to consider introducing VAR Lite in the upcoming season to ensure that football matches in the country are free of human error.
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